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 Post subject: Is this an appropriate way to lower your chance of hecklers?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:06 am 
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I just need the advice of some of you experienced magicians on here please.

I am at the stage where I can confidently go about my magic in front of small audiences of up to 10 people, and only friends at the moment. I certainly do make sure my tricks are thoroughly practiced into muscle memory before I perform them. And to set the record straight, I do a good job and get a lot of genuine praise for what I do.

However, I still get a couple of comments within the audience of how the trick is done - "Oh, you're using a magnet for that!" or "I know you have a special thread to make that float!"

Yes, dreaded hecklers. The people I am talking about don't mean to ruin it for others, I think they just like to figure it out and attract attention onto themselves. I know these people who do this (in my small shows), and they are genuinely nice. I believe some hecklers don't even know they are doing the wrong thing to a performer and rest of the audience alike.

This is why I am asking you this question: Is it appropriate to say at the start of a show or trick, "Please make sure that you sit back, enjoy the magic and if you do happen to know how any of these effects are done, keep it to yourself to avoid spoiling it for the rest of the audience"

???

I would love to be able to tame potential hecklers before even beginning the show, but worried that it might cause discomfort or take the "magic" out of the effect.

Thanks for any advice!
Scott.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:13 am 
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Usually these type of "hecklers" can be handled with "participation". What I mean is, get them involved, involve them with your magic and most importantly, your performance. Make them have fun themselves, have them hold on to something, perform self-working magic, use their hands - magic in the spectators' hands - etc. That is a better and sure-fire way for them to be the centre of attention! ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:18 am 
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You could do that...

Dealing with Hecklers is a personal thing. Each one of us deals with them differently depending on their personality type and or the heckling situation. Some use insults, some use sucker tricks, some people just ignore it and let the crowd do the talking for you. Sometimes a heckler is silenced by other audience members who become annoyed by his comments. It's always a different situation.

No matter how you decide to cope with them, make sure you understand the most important lesson: Things like this will happen in your years of performing and to never let it get you down.

Keep practicing, performing, learning and experiencing and you'll develop the best recourse for those dreaded Hecklers.


Last edited by neillio on Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:18 am 
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Hey,

A bit of advice, people who figure out tricks are not hecklers. If someone sees what you did, why shouldn't they tell you? Your job was to fool them and you failed. WHy should they pretend? Sorry if it sounds mean, because someone pointing out how you do a trick can be good. After the show ask them what they saw, and learn from their comments and you'll be sure it doesn't happen next time :)

As for hecklers who insult you and grab things, all they want is attention. Don't insult them back or they'll be happy that you're giving them special attention. It's just jealousy. Everyone is watching you, and they want that. If you ignore them and act like they don't exist, they may stop. If not, the crowd will get annoyed and try to put an end to it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:28 am 
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zade77 wrote:
Hey,

A bit of advice, people who figure out tricks are not hecklers. If someone sees what you did, why shouldn't they tell you?


Because they're rarely correct.

zade77 wrote:
Your job was to fool them and you failed.

This mentality is, imho, wrong! So wrong! You job is to entertain. If you are relying on the deception of your trick to do the entertaining for you and not your own personality then you are missing the point of being a magician.

If your funny or entertaining, people who are intellegent enough to explain the tricks won't even bother trying to expose you. They'll say, "That guy was funny!" Don't insult your audience by thinking that you can fool each and every person you come into contact with. That thought shows lack of experience.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:56 am 
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If a Heckler in the middle of a trick says "let me see that" and then reaches out to snatch the deck away ( or the coin, the dollar... ect.) I justshuffle the deck and hand it to them and say "here you try it" and before they can say anything slam the deck into their outstretched hand. they'll stare at you with the deck in the deck in their hand. The worst thing they can do is run away with the deck or throw the cards everywhere, but don't worry they never do that, they usually just hand them back. If they stay and keep Heckling, ask them to leave, if they don't, say "okay guys this (whatever you want to call them) is ruining the magic so I have to leave" walk away and usually if you're pretty good the Hecklers will get some pretty bad glares.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:11 am 
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Quote:
This mentality is, imho, wrong! So wrong! You job is to entertain. If you are relying on the deception of your trick to do the entertaining for you and not your own personality then you are missing the point of being a magician.

If your funny or entertaining, people who are intellegent enough to explain the tricks won't even bother trying to expose you. They'll say, "That guy was funny!" Don't insult your audience by thinking that you can fool each and every person you come into contact with. That thought shows lack of experience.


Your right, that didn't sound how I wanted it to sound. The point of magic is to entertain, both with your personality AND the magic. The actual magic does play a huge part in the entertaining. That's why we're called magicians and not actors or comedians, because we entertain audiences by doing magic.
Quote:
neillio wrote:
zade77 wrote:
Hey,

A bit of advice, people who figure out tricks are not hecklers. If someone sees what you did, why shouldn't they tell you?


Because they're rarely correct.


If they are just yeliing out things that they know are wrong just to act like they're smarter than you, then it's heckling, but if they see you palm three cards and put them on the deck and tell you, they're doing you a favor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:50 am 
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zade77 wrote:
The actual magic does play a huge part in the entertaining. That's why we're called magicians and not actors or comedians, because we entertain audiences by doing magic.


Oh okay, I didn't mean to jump down your thoat. I consider myself an actor playing the part of a comedic magician. I'm all three :D .

zade77 wrote:
If they are just yeliing out things that they know are wrong just to act like they're smarter than you, then it's heckling, but if they see you palm three cards and put them on the deck and tell you, they're doing you a favor.


That should never happen. I wasn't assuming he was a bad magician. Even the best of the best get a bad audience member on occassion.

I get heckled at least twice a month, but I always come out on top. (EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO CHILDREN, PANGEA!!!! LOL) Those are the worst kind of hecklers....6 year old little girls. Grrrr.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:45 pm 
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Thanks for all your feedback!

You have some good stuff there as ideas. Just to set the record straight again, the people who are calling out how the trick is done are basically "thinking out loud".

I know they didn't see any gimmicks or exposures of hidden objects. It is plainly because they are smart enough to understand how it works. Even if I did the illusion 100% correctly.

Here is exactly what happened. I am not revealing a secret here, because it is clearly listed on Steve Fearson's website: http://www.downloadmagic.com/invisible_thread.htm

The other night I was floating an object in mid air. I had some inspirational classical music in the background. At the beginning of the illusion I showed it in my left palm face up, and waved my right hand over it to go with the music. It was looking mysterious. When the climax of the song came, I let it float in mid air. I also let it float within inches of some of their eyes, arms and legs. Everyone was hysterically in laughter. They were loving it, and so was I. I thought it was very successfully entertaining, and this is the feedback I got:

"That is the best trick I have ever seen!"
"I have never seen that happen before"
"I know you must have been using thread to do that..."
"Can you come to my 21st and perform for me next year?"
"I have no idea how you did that."

These comments were from different spectators. Luckily the one who shouted out mid-trick about the thread was not heard by the others (because the laughing was so loud).

But please think about it, can you see my point? If they DID hear, it would have spoiled it for EVERYONE. I didn't expose anything at all, this person was just smart enough to understand the mechanics of the illusion.

Sometimes in other cases I have had the heckler reveal the answer while it was silent. That really sucked but I kept my cool and continued the trick.

So is the original comment an appropriate one?

"Please make sure that you sit back, enjoy the magic and if you do happen to know how any of these effects are done, keep it to yourself to avoid spoiling it for the rest of the audience"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:35 pm 
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Don't worry about it. IT is becoming more and more well known amoung laymen, and some people just have enough common sense to know what you're doing. This is why a lot of people don't like doing levitation magic (aside from the hard setup :wink: ).

As for that comment, you could say it, but some people might not listen or they may discuss it after the show.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:12 am 
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scottsmith wrote:
"Please make sure that you sit back, enjoy the magic and if you do happen to know how any of these effects are done, keep it to yourself to avoid spoiling it for the rest of the audience"


Definitely not.

This is a patronizing announcement, not something that you want to start out on. I think you are trying to find a lazy way out of dealing with heckling by trying to set it up so it doesn't happen, which is understandable. But from the very start, you are emphasizing that they are just tricks with explanations, so you are taking away any sense of magic or wonder by making this comment. This would be very bad showmanship. Controlling your audience while you do the effect is what you want to aim for, not by making some silly announcement that might tend to be insulting to many. Audience control is something that you learn with time, study, and above all by choosing great routines with solid construction and misdirection.

You either need to find other material that denies easy explanation, or perform it better so that they don't see. Occasional heckling like this just comes with the territory. If you're going to be performing magic, you need to develop a thick skin so that you're not effected by it, and learn how to deal with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this an appropriate way to lower your chance of heckl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:51 pm 
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scottsmith wrote:
I just need the advice of some of you experienced magicians on here please.

I am at the stage where I can confidently go about my magic in front of small audiences of up to 10 people, and only friends at the moment. I certainly do make sure my tricks are thoroughly practiced into muscle memory before I perform them. And to set the record straight, I do a good job and get a lot of genuine praise for what I do.

However, I still get a couple of comments within the audience of how the trick is done - "Oh, you're using a magnet for that!" or "I know you have a special thread to make that float!"

Yes, dreaded hecklers. The people I am talking about don't mean to ruin it for others, I think they just like to figure it out and attract attention onto themselves. I know these people who do this (in my small shows), and they are genuinely nice. I believe some hecklers don't even know they are doing the wrong thing to a performer and rest of the audience alike.

This is why I am asking you this question: Is it appropriate to say at the start of a show or trick, "Please make sure that you sit back, enjoy the magic and if you do happen to know how any of these effects are done, keep it to yourself to avoid spoiling it for the rest of the audience"

???

I would love to be able to tame potential hecklers before even beginning the show, but worried that it might cause discomfort or take the "magic" out of the effect.

Thanks for any advice!
Scott.


First of all...I have never heard of a stage magician that performs up to audiences of 10... :?

anyways...I do not think it is appropriate to say that at the beginning of the show. If you want to minimize hecklers...don't present magic as magic...present it as a form of entertainment. If you try to trick people you are only making a puzzle for them...people do not like to be tricked, but they do like to solve puzzles...which is why they would shout out how they think the trick works! However, people do like to be entertained. Once you entertain them, they should care less about how you do what as long as they are having a good time.

[Basically, it does not matter how much you practice or how perfect your tricks are...if you are not entertaining the audience...you are not doing your job]

Another thing...you said your audience is mostly friends. Friends like to tease each other and if any of them knows secrets...it is hard for them to keep them while you are performing.

I have been doing this, and have not had a heckler in years...and I do audiences up to 400 (includes children, adults, and or teenagers)! It works, believe me! You just have to find the line between entertaining and tricking...and then cross it.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:49 pm 
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Thanks very much for your constructive comments. That's what I needed to hear to point me into that direction and I appreciate it. Yes, I'm only in my first few months of magic and that's why I asked.

I want to reassure you I have not been stuffing up my tricks, and yes I have certainly been entertaining the audience (the way they laugh, they loved it). I'm a quick learner and the only thing that bothers me at the moment is a little nervousness, but that doesn't show much anyway!

I will not be using that line before the show and will just have to ignore comments for the time being, while I keep improving.

Thanks :D

Ps Kyle the Great, I always like to read your posts on this forum - you always have helpful advice. Thanks for replying


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:39 pm 
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scottsmith...no problem, I am glad you find my advice helpful.


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:56 pm 
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Scott,
The magic word was 'friends' they are more apt to shout things out because they know you. Plus they feel as if you are trying to trick them and nobody wants to be out done.
Once you start performing for others and putting on a show I think you will see the last of the heckling. Like Kyle said, entertain them first and that is what they enjoy.


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